Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (2023)

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Updated: June 2, 2023

Annoyed by your kitchen cabinets not working properly? Broken latches, loose door hinges, stuck drawers - are they driving you crazy? Read on to make it easykitchen cabinet arrangementThese and other frequently asked questions.

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Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (1)household handyman

Sometimes it's the little things in the kitchen that drive us crazy. Loose door handles, broken door panels, closed drawers. If any of these sound familiar, check out this collection of quick and easy kitchen cabinet repairs. You'll find easy solutions to many of the most common kitchen cabinet problems.

Written by the DIY experts at The Family Handyman Magazine

    Adjusting Hinges on Misaligned Doors

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (2)

    Adjust depth and side screws.

    European hinges are designed for easy adjustment. If the door is not flush with adjacent doors, adjust the depth screw. This screw moves the door in or out. Some depth screws move the door when you turn it. But in most cases, you have to loosen the screws, push the door in or out, and then tighten the screws. If your hinge doesn't have deep screws, start with the side screws. They move the door from side to side. In some cases, it may be necessary to loosen the depth screw slightly to adjust the side screw.

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (3)

    Perfect one door before tweaking the second.

    If the door is flush and parallel to the other doors, but too high or too low, use the mounting screws to raise or lower the mounting plate. Loosen the screws on both hinges, slide the door up or down, and tighten the screws. Some mounting plates adjust by turning a single screw. Check the door adjustment after each adjustment. With double doors like this, perfect the fit on one door first, then align the other.

    Adjust or replace a faulty latch

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    Replace and adjust the latch

    Most newer cabinets have self-closing hinges that keep the doors closed. Others have magnetic or roller closures. The latch that no longer holds the door closed is broken or out of adjustment. The latch is held in place with two screws, so replacing a damaged latch is simple. Adjustment is also simple, but you may need to readjust the latch a few times to get it right. Loosen the screw, move the latch in or out, then tighten the screw. If the door doesn't close properly, try again.

    Add bumpers for closing doors

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (5)

    Place bumpers at the top and bottom corners.

    Tired of hearing cabinet doors slam shut? Peel and stick door and drawer protectors are the solution. Get a pack of 20 for $2 at home centers. Make sure the back of the door is clean so the bumper will stick, then put one in the top corner and one in the bottom corner.

    How To Repair Drawer Slides - Replacing Worn Drawer Slides

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (6)

    How to fix a drawer: replace it with the same rail

    If it is found that the slider is bent, the roller is broken, or the roller still does not turn after lubrication, replacement is the best solution. To simplify your project, buy new slides that are identical (or nearly identical) to your old slides. This way, replacement is easy, unscrew the old one and screw on the new one. Remove the drawer and cabinet rails and take them shopping. You can find slides for $5 to $15 per drawer at home centers.

    How to Fix a Drawer: Lubricate a Stuck Drawer

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (7)

    How to Repair Drawer Slides: Spray Lubricant on Rails and Rollers

    A few minutes of cleaning and lubricating can have your drawer slides sliding almost like new. First remove the drawer so the slides can be inspected. You can remove most drawers by pulling them all the way out, then raising or lowering the drawer front until the wheels come off the tracks. Clean the track and apply a light coat of spray lubricant. Also lubricate the rollers and make sure they turn easily.

    How to Repair a Drawer: Repairing a Damaged Drawer Box

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (8)

    How to Fix a Drawer: Remove Fasteners and Old Glue

    Don't tolerate broken corner joints on drawers. Fix the whole drawer before it falls apart. If possible, remove the drawer, then remove the drawer front from the drawer box. Most front panels are held in place by a pair of screws inside the case. Remove any nails, staples, or screws from loose joints, and use a utility knife to scrape away the old glue.

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    Pre-drilled nail holes and glued seams.

    1/16" open-hole nail holes, apply wood glue to seams and nail with 1-1/2" studs. If there is wood-to-wood contact in the joints, wood glue can make a strong repair. If the wood in the joint is coated, use epoxy instead of wood glue.

    Glue loose knobs

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (10)

    Glue the knob in place

    Any handles or knobs that once fell off are likely to fall off again. Using a small drop of thread adhesive such as Thread Lok (about $3 at a home center) can permanently fix this. Don't worry; the knob can still be removed with a screwdriver if you want to replace the hardware in the future.

    Two methods of mending holes for screw falling off

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (11)

    Fill the holes with toothpicks and glue.

    If the screw is turned but not tight, the screw hole has come off. Here's a quick fix: remove the screws and hardware. Dip a toothpick into the glue, insert it into as many holes as you can, and snap it off. Both flat and round chopsticks are fine. Immediately wipe off any dripping glue with a damp cloth. No need to wait for glue to dry or drill new screw holes; just screw the screw directly into the toothpick to reinstall the hardware.

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (12)

    Fixing Cabinet Hinge Screw Holes with Plugs

    Cabinets made of chipboard are ideal forUtilities and LaundryAnd they are very cheap. But particleboard has one major weakness: it doesn't hold threads well. Therefore, if the door is opened too quickly, the force will pull the hinge screws out of the cabinet wall. Not to worry; the solution is easy and cheap. Here's how to solve the problem. You will need a bottle of 1/2 inch wood glue. Drill bits and a pack of 1/2-inch diameter hardwood plugs (sold at home centers).

    Start by removing the screws on the cabinet hinges, then move the hinges out of the way. If an accident tears off a large piece of chipboard, glue it back in place and let the glue set before doing the rest of the repair. Drill the stripped screw holes to accommodate the plugs. Then fill the hole with wood glue and install the plug. Once the glue dries, drill a pilot hole and install new screws; you're all set.

    Repair nicks and scratches

    Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Fixes (13)

    Use a touch-up paint pen full of color

    If the surface has scratches or nicks, hide them with a stain-filled touch-up marker. Wipe the stain and wipe off the excess with a rag. But be careful: scratches can absorb a lot of stains and become darker than the surrounding surface. So start with a marker that is a shade lighter than the cabinet finish, then switch to darker colors as needed. For darker scratches, use a filler pencil, which will fill in and color the scratches.

    Originally published: June 26, 2019

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